Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Alcohols Give Acids Wings*

Acids are sticky things -- they cling to each other and hardly break ranks. The reason why is called "hydrogen bonding." Alcohol loosens up acids, making them leave their own. Acids do bond with alcohols, but the combination is volatile esters.** That leads to flying apart.

Volatility --> wings --> nose (aroma).
*The metaphor dates from (at least) Lord Kelvin. See my discussion here.

**The word "ester" is pure invention, without metaphor: link